Four of five council members placed Hallinan as their No. 1 choice in a secret ballot vote during a closed session meeting in which they were asked to rank their top three candidates, according to city officials. One undisclosed council member’s ballot did not name Hallinan at all.
City Manager Rod Butler said Tuesday, Oct. 25 that Hallinan and the city will hammer out a contract over the next two to three weeks that will most likely be presented at the council’s regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Hallinan could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
Hallinan, who has been serving in an interim capacity as the city attorney since May of 2010, will write up the proposed draft agreement. The proposal is expected to include a deputy city attorney post to be filled by Hallinan’s assistant, Doug White, who has occasionally filled in for Hallinan at council meetings. The two are expected to have more of a presence around city hall during business hours and at evening meetings such as the Patterson Planning Commission.
“We expect more visibility and more access,” Mayor Luis Molina said. “Its an opportunity to set the foundation for stronger relationships between the council and attorney.”
Molina and City Manager Rod Butler noted that it would also be an opportunity to forge working relationships between city staff and the city attorney.
“I’m looking forward to working with Tom to build a strong working relationship and to utilize his legal expertise.”
City Councilwoman Annette Smith cautioned, however, that the contract with Hallinan was not done.
“We’re in negotiations at this point on terms and the actual fees,” she said. “They have to be vetted out and accepted. We don’t have a permanent city attorney yet.”
• Nick Rappley can be reached at 892-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.